Americans have recently heard a bunch of state governors say as much.
In response to a question about the constitutionality of a recent executive order, the New Jersey governor put it this way: “That’s above my pay grade,” Murphy responded. “I wasn’t thinking of the Bill of Rights when we did this . . .”
Excuse me?? You didn’t think of the Bill of Rights?
Sadly, though other governors haven’t uttered those exact words, their behavior and their decisions clearly demonstrate to the world that they have taken the same approach.
Those of us who put on a badge, strap on a gun and head out the door each day – not knowing if we will return – don’t have that same luxury.
We are America’s cops.
Each one of us took an oath to defend the Constitution from all attacks whether foreign or domestic. We can spend our life in jail if we fail to honor each citizen’s rights as identified in the American Constitution.
HI-LIGHTS OF THE BILL OF RIGHTS
No, this won’t be a duplicate of your government class in school. But, let’s make sure we are all on the same page.
This is a list of the most-often discussed and used of civil rights contained in the Bill of Rights. They are Constitutional Amendments One through Ten.
Freedom of religion. We can do whatever we chose in the practice of our faith.
Freedom of speech. We can say whatever we choose.
Freedom of assembly. We can gather with others. It can be with whomever we choose. And, we can do it whenever we choose.
I may own and carry a weapon (gun) of my choosing, without interference from the government.
I cannot be forced to testify against myself in court.
If accused, I am guaranteed a speedy trial with a jury of my peers.
If found guilty of a crime, there will be no cruel or unusual punishment.
Rights not specifically given to the government are reserved and given to the people.
SUSPENDING THE CIVIL RIGHTS OF CITIZENS
This is something we most frequently hear about being done in some far-off third world country.
Venezuela is a prime example.
A previously elected president of that country was Nicholas Maduro. Some months ago, he ran for re-election. When the votes were counted, he lost.
During the time between the election and the inauguration of the new guy, Maduro decided it would be a great time to declare a National Emergency. As a result, he also declared that Marshall Law would prevail.
All of the citizens’ civil liberties were wiped away with the stroke of his pen.
He went on to single-handedly replace judges and dismissed members of the nation’s legislature.
New people were found to fill the vacant jobs who – just coincidentally – were pals of Maduro.
He convinced the legislature to amend the country’s constitution so that he could stay in office pretty much as long as he wanted.
All of this happened because he decided to declare an emergency. All by himself.
Is this beginning to sound familiar?
THAT COULD NEVER HAPPEN HERE
Early in March, Americans began to learn about the serious dangers posed by the novel coronavirus which had come from China.
By the end of the month, many state governors had declared emergencies in their own states. We then began to hear about ‘Executive Orders’ which many governors had signed and remain in effect today.
Most of those executive orders infringe on civil rights at some level. Others are downright draconian, suspending nearly all of those rights. Take a look around the country at states like Michigan, Virginia, New York, California and others.
Most American citizens have been told they must stay at home 24×7, UNLESS: you are someone whom the Lords have deemed “essential” or, you need supplies. Think of it like house arrest … it’s pretty much the same thing.
Citizens were blocked from attending Easter Sunday services with their church. Those blocks remain in place in many states today.
Some citizens were told they could not attend a drive-in church, even if they never got out of their vehicles.
In some states, residents are welcome to go out boating on the lakes and rivers in their area.
HOWEVER, if their boat has a motor, enjoying their boat is forbidden.
If you are a female in Texas and try to operate a hair salon in order to feed your children, you will be put in jail.
There are a few states where the governor has decided that the Second Amendment is null and void. You may not purchase a gun or ammunition.
Don’t try to use a public park or even worse, a public beach. Heaven forbid!
Being stuck at home, you may want to catch-up on projects and tasks that you have been putting off. Not so fast, there Buck-o.
You want fabric, yarn or other supplies from Jo-Ann Fabric or Michael’s? Forget it.
n Michigan, you can go to Home Depot but don’t you dare try to purchase any gardening supplies.
Equally off-limits are any products associated with home improvement projects.
And, just when you thought you had heard it all …
If your appendix ruptures, or
You are in agonizing pain because you need gall bladder surgery,
Those are all elective procedures which are banned by the gods in many states, right now.
HOWEVER, if you want an abortion, step right up. YOU are most welcome.
Do you see what the fuck is happening right under our noses? The assholes at the top want us to be complicit and enforce their unconstitutional orders.
There is no due process (see Fifth Amendment).
There is no jury in a court of law (see Sixth Amendment).
When pressed for a reason why, these self-appointed kings and queens respond like a parent to a five year old: “Because I said so.”
Business are closed:
– restaurants and bars in rural upstate New York
– local gyms
These, and others, may never reopen.
BUT, THE COURT SAYS IT’S OK
Some time ago, the Supreme Court gave limited authority to the executive branch to suspend civil rights in cases of emergency.
The frame of reference for that decision was a World War. Not a virus that threatens to kill 0.036% of the population. Yes, that’s one out of every 2,750 of us.
It’s hardly the same as the threat from a World War.
That was a piss-poor decision by the Court and it should be reversed. No single person should have the authority to strip away the civil rights of hundreds of thousands of American citizens.
According to the Founders, the Court’s job is to INTERPRET the Constitution. It does NOT have the authority to make laws or change the Constitution.
If we really want Governors and the President to have that kind of unilateral authority, we should demand that the Constitution be amended.
The amending process will take years and it will involve the input of thousands and thousands of Americans, before any change can take effect.
The United States is not ruled by one person. No President and No Governor should ever have this kind of authority.
Worst of all, that authority has been abused.
We cops have been directed to enforce these bullshit, illegal orders.
Some cops have gone along with it. The vast majority have not.
A CRITICAL LESSON FROM HISTORY
The Nuremburg Trials were held following World War II. In those trials, many German officers and guards were charged with war crimes. Prosecutors charged that they had exterminated millions of Jews in Nazi prison camps during the war.
The common defense from most of these guards and officers was, “I was following orders.”
Most were convicted and put to death. Rationale: the guards and officers knew at the time that the orders weren’t legal and they were wrong to carry them out.
Our oath of allegiance is to the Constitution – not some two-bit politician who will be gone after the next election.
“Above all, it’s about going home at the end of the shift … “
We couldn’t agree more.
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